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What Do You Look Forward To The Most About Pre-Term?

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Cornell / Johnson Essay Topics Analysis 2014-2015

Today we’ll be offering some comments on Cornell/Johnson’s MBA application essays for 2014-2015.

Johnson has moved from word counts to character limits this season; each of the school’s essay items are limited to 2,000 characters including spaces, which works out to between 250 and 300 words. This marks a reduction in the length of the school’s essays for this season, down from a total of 750 words across two essays last season a maximum of 600 this year. The program has retained its Table of Contents prompt for another year, and has narrowed the scope of its second response to a fairly focused inquiry about the applicant’s immediate post-MBA plans.

Let’s take a closer look at each essay-section prompt:

Creative Submission: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2000 characters or less, please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.
This unusual prompt calls for a high-level and non-narrative overview of an applicant’s life to date. Internalizing the “Note” for this essay, applicants should understand that while the structure for this essay is set, there’s still a good deal of room for strategy and creativity: candidates are free to decide which eras or events to highlight, how to title each chapter, and so on. Though relying on a list format might be a viable approach, candidates will likely get more mileage out of this essay by structuring information in sentences or a series of sub-sections under broad chapter headings, offering a description of that “chapter” in your life and drawing out the important themes of the story. Regardless of the format you choose, make sure that it allows you to provide an authentic representation of yourself. Moreover, with the 2000 character limit for this essay, applicants should ensure their writing is succinct so that they can convey all of their points in this limited space.

As for the content itself, the admissions committee is likely looking for a sense of each candidate’s background, as well as his or her trajectory and growth over time. Touch on those events and accomplishments that are most meaningful and important to you, highlighting the ones that have shaped your personal development. Remember, though, that this is a b-school application, so you will also want to share information that is relevant to your current work and your future objectives without too much repetition of points raised in your other essays. While applicants have a bit of room to discuss their work history in the second of the school’s prompts, candidates may also want to touch on their professional trajectories here. That said, dedicating the entirety of the table of contents to professional pursuits may not be advantageous or allow candidates to provide well-rounded pictures of who they are. Overall, you want to make sure to highlight the unique aspects of your personality and candidacy, as doing so will allow you to stand out from others in the applicant pool.

Targeted Job Type: What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2000 characters)
While this prompt centers on the applicant’s immediate post-MBA plans—candidates will of course want to provide a function or job title, as well as their target industry and perhaps one or two target organizations—with 250-300 words to work with, there’s also room to briefly touch on the bigger picture. Applicants might comment on their long term goals, as well as the ways their work experience to date has influenced, and prepared them for, these objectives. Space permitting, applicants may also want to comment on a few specific elements of Johnson’s MBA program that would help to position them for success in their first job after graduation (conversations with current students and alumni, visits to campus, and Clear Admit’s School Guide to the Johnson Graduate School of Management are all viable sources of information on this point). With a number of potential topics to cover in so few words, applicants will want to be judicious about what they include here, making sure that they completely address the primary question before expanding into other subjects.

Post-Collegiate Activities: List community activities (clubs, church, civic, etc.) and professional associations you contributed to since graduation from college. Please include the organization name, your role, hours dedicated, elected offices held, and dates of participation (2000 characters).
While applicants will have the same text field for this response as for the above essays, a simple list format that clearly includes all of the requested information will likely work best here. There aren’t instructions about the order in which to include entries in this sections, so applicants may opt for chronological or priority-based orderings.

Collegiate Activities and Employment: List your extracurricular activities while in college in order of importance to you. You may include details about your positions and the time commitment, honors or awards received, and dates of participation. The list may also include part-time and summer employment held while in college. Please list your employer, job title, responsibilities, hours per week, and the dates for each position (2000 character limit).
Similarly to the above prompt, a list format clearly providing the requested information will be the most efficient way to convey this information.

Hobbies and Activities: Please describe any hobbies or activities that hold special significance for you (2000 characters).
Applicants might choose to compose an essay in this space, or to adopt a list-style format with a short entry about each activity and the reason one considers it significant. Important milestones or accomplishments related to these hobbies or activities might also be included here.

Optional Essay: Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School. (2000 characters)
This space will likely be best used to address liabilities or potential issues in one’s application rather than providing additional information about one’s background.

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Stanford Graduate School of Business to Break Ground on New $75 Million Residential Building

stanford new residential buildingFirst-year Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) MBA students will live in a brand new residential building by 2016, the school reports. Design concepts for the new $75 million project were approved by the Stanford Board of Trustees last month, and the school plans to break ground on the new facility in fall 2014.

The four-story, 146,000-square-foot residential building will be adjacent to the school’s state-of-the-art Knight Management Center, which opened in 2011. The new facility will include 200 single-living units. The addition of this new housing to the existing 280 units in the school’s Schwab Residential Center will enable Stanford for the first time to offer on-campus housing to its full first-year class. It will also provide space for up to 80 visiting executive education participants. Continue reading…

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Trivia Tuesday: INSEAD’s Blue Ocean Strategy Institute

It’s time again for Trivia Tuesday, our weekly in-depth look at the specific programs and what differentiates them from their competitors.  This week, we’re picking up the Clear Admit Guide to INSEAD to learn more about the school’s Blue Ocean Strategy Institute.

“Located in Fontainebleau, the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute (IBOSI) was founded in 2007 to raise awareness of the Blue Ocean theory of strategic market growth created by INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. According to this model, the market universe can be divided into areas of “red ocean,” in which competition between companies is fierce, and “blue ocean,” in which many unexplored business opportunities remain; companies are encouraged to move toward areas of blue ocean, where competition is a non-factor and demand is created rather than fought over. IBOSI’s overarching mission is to conduct meaningful research that utilizes Blue Ocean Strategy to propose new methodologies in management. The institute then seeks to translate the theoretical, academic findings of its affiliated researchers into real-world solutions for companies, governments and nonprofit organizations.

“Aside from these research efforts, IBOSI offers MBA students the chance to enroll in Blue Ocean Strategy electives twice a year to gain further training in its methodologies. These courses are available in both Fontainebleau and Singapore. One such course, the Blue Ocean Strategy Study Group, gives students the opportunity to learn from and work directly with the founders of IBOSI on independent research projects while learning about key concepts in blue ocean theory. In the second, the Blue Ocean Strategy Simulation half-course elective, students apply their understanding of Blue Ocean Strategy to practical situations through an interactive simulation. Students who complete both courses are awarded a Blue Ocean Strategy Certificate signed by Kim and Mauborgne, which reflects the student’s comprehension of the basic tenets of the theory and their ability to apply them in a real-world context.”

To read more about INSEAD’s curriculum and other offerings, be sure to check out the Clear Admit Guide to INSEAD. All Clear Admit School Guides are available for immediate purchase and download at the Clear Admit shop.

You could win a Clear Admit Guide!  Based on today’s post, we’ll be running a trivia contest on Twitter.  Be sure to follow us and play for your chance to win!

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UT Austin / McCombs Essay Topic Analysis 2014-2015

Today we’ll be offering some pointers on UT Austin McCombs’s 2014-2015 application essays.

While McCombs has reduced the number of required essays for this admissions season – down from three prompts last year to just two this cycle – the changes aren’t quite as drastic as we’ve seen with some other programs. The school has retained its creative introduction essay that it introduced last year, and appears to have combined two of last year’s 250-word prompts, one about fit with McCombs and another about what the applicant sought from the UT Austin MBA, into a single 500-word response for this year. These prompts seem to reflect a continued interest in the qualities that an applicant would bring to his or her classmates and the larger McCombs community, as well as his or her reasons for seeking an MBA from this particular program.

Let’s take a closer look at each of McComb’s essays:

Essay 1: Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2017. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, and include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe to be significant. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.
• Write an essay (250 words)
• Share a video introduction (one minute)
• Share your profile

Appearing on the McCombs MBA application for a second year in a row, this prompt affords applicants two new media options to go beyond the traditional written essay. No matter which of these three is the best fit with your background, there are a few themes to keep in mind as you plot out your approach. This essay looks to see how applicants present themselves to their peers, requiring applicants to reflect carefully on the aspects of their backgrounds that would be most interesting and valuable to their future classmates. While a brief mention of your professional background and career goals may be appropriate, we also encourage applicants to use this opportunity to showcase elements of their personalities and candidacies that they will not have the chance to address in their responses to the other application essay. Perhaps you have a particularly interesting work or extracurricular experience to share, or a personal accomplishment or aspect of your heritage of which you’re especially proud. If any of these lend themselves to a video presentation, you could consider how to visually convey more personal information in addition to any script you may draft. The 250-word limit does give applicants some flexibility for describing a range of qualities and characteristics in order to demonstrate the well-rounded nature of their candidacies, while applicants with a robust (and admissions-appropriate) social media presence might opt to synthesize text and visuals in an profile.

Essay 2: In the Texas MBA program, we promote a diverse and collaborative community by providing opportunities for growth in an academically rigorous environment. Please discuss why McCombs is the right program for you, what you hope to gain from your time in the Texas MBA Program both personally and professionally, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experiences. (500 words)
Rather than asking about these topics in isolated essays as they did last season, the adcom has combined the “why MBA” and “fit with McCombs” topics into a single prompt this year, giving applicants a bit more freedom in structuring their responses and allocating words among these subjects (that said, last year’s structure may provide a cue that applicants should aim to devote roughly equal parts of the essay to each topic). Applicants will naturally want to discuss their professional goals and the ways the McCombs MBA would position them for success, as well as the more personal growth they hope to experience and soft skills they wish to gain during their time on campus.

At the same time, they’ll also want to be clear about how they would enhance the experience of their fellow students, whether through in-class participation, leadership of a student organization, or other avenues. Throughout, it will be important to demonstrate one’s fit with and knowledge of the McCombs program and school community, going into some detail about specific classes and clubs that are appealing. Taking the time to learn about the school’s special programs and extracurricular activities – whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to McCombs School of Business – will pay dividends here.

Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (200 words)
This essay will be best used to address liabilities in one’s application rather than to provide “bonus” information to the adcom. Candidates with questionable quantitative records, gaps in employment, or unusual recommenders should take advantage of this opportunity to offer explanations or outline plans to address potential issues.

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Wharton Social Impact Initiative to Pay Down Student Loans for MBAs Who Pursue Nonprofit, Public Sector Careers

loan forgivenessFor MBAs who pursue careers in the nonprofit and public sectors, paying back staggering student loans they took out to finance their degree can be incredibly challenging. At the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, a social impact‒focused fund managed by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative comes to the rescue.

The John M. Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service was created in 2005 by a 1940 graduate of the school, John Bendheim, and his son Tom, WG/Lauder ’90. The fund will grant up to $20,000 per year to pay down selected candidates’ student loans. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Shari Hubert of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business

shari_hubertIn our continuing series of interviews with admissions directors at leading business schools, we spoke most recently with Shari Hubert of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Hubert joined McDonough last year as associate dean of MBA admissions, where she leads recruitment efforts to attract highly qualified, diverse students to the school’s full-time and part-time MBA programs.

Prior to joining McDonough, Hubert served as director of recruitment for the Peace Corps’ Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection, where she was responsible for recruiting 4,000 volunteers annually and managed the operations of nine regional recruitment offices across the United States. Before that, she led campus recruitment for Citi’s Global Bank in North America and served as the manager for campus relations in corporate recruiting at GE’s corporate headquarters. She also led the Executive Leadership and Civic Development Program at the Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy association focused on public and private partnerships. Continue reading…

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FREE Columbia School Guide – 24 Hours Only!

school guidesIn honor of our new Admissions Counselor Erin Hale, who joins us after three years in the Columbia Business School admissions office, Clear Admit is excited to offer applicants one FREE school guide to Columbia Business School.  Available for immediate download, each Clear Admit School Guide offers informative and detailed profiles of leading business schools; the definitive guide to CBS, the Columbia School Guide provides insight into the program’s core curriculum, popular professors and access to business leaders in NYC, among much more.  Prospective Columbia applicants should be sure to take advantage of this special offer, but even prospective applicants of other programs could benefit from learning more about what the Clear Admit School Guides have to offer. Admissions officers, applicants and the press all agree that the Clear Admit School Guides are a vital tool to successfully navigating the MBA admissions process.

In order to download your free Columbia School Guide, simply go to the Clear Admit Shop and enter coupon code CBSSG14 at checkout.  This limited-time offer ends tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. EST. 

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Admissions Tip: Planning for the R1 MBA Deadlines

Admissions Tip: Planning for the R1 MBA Deadlines

Anyone who’s familiar with the MBA application process knows that August moves forward at an accelerated pace, and come September, entire weeks seem to disappear.  To help this year’s Round One applicants avoid the classic time crunch, today’s blog post offers some basic advice on how to approach the Round One deadlines at a reasonable pace.

Let’s start by taking a quick look some of at the published Round One deadlines for the top MBA programs: Continue reading…

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Fridays from the Frontline: It was the best/worst of times

This week in the business school blogosphere, MBA students travel the world and embark on promising business ventures, while applicants continue wading through the complex and often mysterious process of applying to business school.

Many applicants are doling out advice about how to navigate the MBA admissions game. First, Texaswannabecali recommends getting “behind the scenes info” on your target schools by contacting alumni, current students, and visiting campus. She also stresses the importance of researching your schools before visiting: “Don’t you just hate the person who asks a question in class that the teacher LITERALLY just answered 3 seconds ago? Yeah, don’t be that person.”  Continue reading…

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